tv [untitled] June 11, 2013 9:30am-10:01am PDT
control that is everything from the obvious dogs and cats all the way to birds and reptiles and small animals. we are also one of only two retailers to have won the top bay area workplace award and we have done this three years in a row. we also if you go in aok at our reviews we average 4 and a half stars. we care about the community. and we have done it by internal growth and could i continue to talking. >> and we have done everything in internal growth and we really have tried to open our lumbard street for probably looking for 12 or 15 years, i have driven it regularly, and i never considered union or chest nut because of the size or lack
of parking. the area has animal control, 15,000 pets. and of the 15,000 pets, the question is really how are they served by what is there right now. >> we have an opportunity to be able to open a cat adoption center. >> michael i am sorry, we are in public comment and it is three minutes. >> i am sorry i thought that i would get to speak. >> it was just that you had 30 seconds left when you asked the question. >> otherwise we have to let everybody else. >> i understand. >> okay. >> next speaker, please? >> thank you. >> commissioners with all due respect, i do want to say that i am not lobbying, and i am speaking up about what pet food express has done for animal care and control because that is an important piece. we are an extremely small city agency and we have a four
million dollar budget to care for over 10,000 animals per year and you heard me say that we have nine officers covering the city, 24/7. without the support of partners we cannot do the work that we are doing as well. and so, i think that it is important for you to understand that because that is part of what their growth has been about, those of us in the welfare community have supported them and they us and it has been beneficial and i know of some smaller pet stores that have dropped out of the coalition and coalition to focus on growing the business accordingly. and yes, there are a larger chain but that is the larger chains have not given to us in this way and not supported us in this way and continue to sell animals that fill our shelter and so fourth and there is a difference in the manner in which they run their business and the way in which they do give back to the community and that contributes to their growth as michael said, they are small, local
business that has grown, so it seems a shame to punish them for doing well, by doing good. i also want to say that i looked into the pet supply business before speaking up on their behalf because we do consider anybody doing or providing care for animals partners and i want to understand the industry and i urge you to look at it as well, but the pet food supplies or pet supplies is a growing industry in this country, even throughout the recent recession and that is one area that continued to grow and perhaps is under served in the marina area and i know that pet unlimited would have a cat adoption center and i want to tell what you it has done for us. i compared the statistics from the year before and the year after, it was established, and i understand that our intakes of cats have gone down, nonetheless we went from adopting out 571 cats a year before the adoption center to 931 thier after and that is an
increase of 360 cats lives that we were able to save because of that center. not only were they adopted there, but the staff and send the people to the shelter, and i looked at 18 months before and 18 months after and 860 cats before and 1450 cats after. and that is an increase of 585 lives, that is huge. and so, i think that it is notable that they are interested in a larger space is to help to serve the needs of the animal welfare community and we don't have a presence in the northern part of the city and we found that when we were in an event that the people did not even know much of anything about the animal welfare and the work that we are doing and that is important and i do also find it ironic when you look at the number of chains on chest nut street that we need to
preserve the character. >> >> my name is pete weber and i am from the animal connection and trying to establish the path for small independent businesses verses chain stores, there was an important article that most of you have read. it is about the impact of chain stores on the neighborhood and independent businesses in the haze valleys, these businesses have been vocal about the concerns of the loss of their neighborhood character, if the chain store owners are allowed to be open in their neighborhood. pet food express will have the same impact on our neighborhood. and other surrounding neighbors such as cal hollow and russian hill. san francisco is unique and diverse because of the different community and this is what attracts the visitors and the quality of life to the san francisco residents. >> to allow these suburbanation
of san francisco, we will kill the goose that lays the golden egg. i encourage you to support us and promote san francisco's diversety. >> next speaker. >> thank you. >> good evening, i'm sally workman and the director of pets unlimited. i just want to bring up two points related to this topic this evening. and one of the one that rebecca brought up is that the adoption and part of this proposal is for a cat of the two line adoption center to be built into the store and that will allow the pets unlimited to save many, many more lives, again this is not an, it is not a not for profit, we have almost no money no marketing, realistickly, the marketing is not something that the donors can want to support.
and so the paths of foot traffic in the supply store has a huge impact in expanding our reach and our mission reach and being able to save more lives because the of the space available literally means to save the lives along what she said along the lines of what might be possible. >> and so we are hoping to have that opportunity to expand our mission reach and i want to comment that i work on the north side of town, but i live on the south side of town and i did notice that when pet food express which i certainly would go to and i also go to my neighborhood pet supply stores. quite frequently. and it is not, i don't think an either or proposition and i have noticed that all of them have thrived since pet food has been opened on market street in that neighborhood. all of the ones in vernal heights and mission and so on, none of them have gone out of business and if anything there
is more of them i believe now than at the time that that store opened years ago. so, i just, it is by way of an observation in terms that i have not seen the negative impact on these small businesses, thank you. >> thank you very much. >> next speaker, please? >> hi, my name is (inaudible) and i am the president of the merchant association, and i also own a small business in the marina on the scott street and lumbard. and i want to first of all, the language of that article was very confusing. i didn't have enough time to gather other merchants on weigh in on this and i really wish if you guys can delay your decisions for another time. but, in the meantime what i wanted to say is lumbard street is a run down street.
many businesses on are struggling, many businesses have closed in the last two or three years, my business is struggling as well and even though it is not there it is on the side street but we do take the foot traffic from that street. a business like pet food express will help lumbard and motivate other people to open business and motivate the people to occupy the existing right now, there are many, many, many, businesses on lumbard that are closed down and empty. and so, this is just my piece as far as the street and i wish that you would delay the decision on this until we bring in more people that will weigh in on this and many support this pet food express, thank you. >> could i ask you a question? >> yes. >> when was your organization founded? >> november of last year. >> and how many members do you have? >> 19. >> okay. >> next speaker, please?
>> hi, commissioners, my name is mitchell berg and i am the owner of bow wo w meow. >> and i think that pet food express has done a wonderful job in the adoption and out reach that it has done i think that without the lumbard street that would continue to be as strong as it is. one of the things that the big chains have the ability to do is present their numbers and marketing and all of that kind of good stuff that puts a nice spin on things, for independence are independent. and if we could coalesce and bring all of our donations and things together we would be able to show you that we do plenty for the community in the different way and we support schools and churches and things that are not so, directly necessarily related to rescue groups and so on and so forth because we are not in the business of curing favors in
the same way and spinning things in the same way. we don't have those resources. we do bring a lot to the community. and we have measured here is you know, that whether the benefits and you know, and the debtments. small businesses buy support other businesses and we help to stimulate entrepreneurs in the economy in a very different way and very important way for the city of san francisco. so, with respect to the pet food express and the donation program which is worthy of praise and opening on lumbard street will not effect that. it could have we, the small pet stores do plenty to drive people to shelters and to rescue groups as well. we can't measure it the same way that we can.
we are vital to the health and well-being of this city. to hurt the small business by strengthening the big business is not going to be in the best interest of the city of san francisco. and i think that many stores could tell you that they have felt an impact of the opening on california street that happened after he was denied the opening on lumbard and so this would only further hurt the small business. thanks for the time. >> good evening, president adams and commissioners, thank you for your time and i know that it is a lot of work to be here and we definitely appreciate it. >> and my name is jim moore and i have been project manager for pet food express for about 18 years. and i have been working with
sally and michael on this project for quite a while. and they put together a serious package of information that deals with a lot of issues that you have heard about tonight already. we were just told that we are not actually a part of the agenda and we are just a little bit confused about how we fit in and why we are the focus of the meeting and apparently there was a subcommittee meeting as well. but, i think that it would be fair for you to continue this or to consider the information as we... if we were able to actually present it to you. it is complex, and there is a lot of nuance to it because pet food express is not a typical formula use retailer. we are by definition formula use, but we are not a big chain. it is a san francisco story, and i think that it is one that needs to be heard.
>> so we do request that you continue this, or at least not take action on it until you have actually have a chance to hear some of the facts and give us an opportunity to correct some things that you have heard tonight. >> thank you very much. >> good evening, commissioners, (inaudible) and actually don't have a (inaudible) and i have friends that do and they have been following this discussion. i also serve on the city commission and i hate to be in your position because you are asked to look at completing interest and how to balance that interest. i just want to (inaudible) because i see myself in your shoes and the way that you need to balance all of the interests. but it is not... black and white issue and you look at economic impact. i run a very, very small microlaw business and
(inaudible) and so i understand that we need to come and be (inaudible) by the impact and i don't want to be impacted either. however, in this instance, i really want to encourage you to look at all of the bases you can because it is not a black and white case, you mean that you balance and everything has an impact and every project has an impact but it is your job to look at what the impact is. you have the experience and you can look at economic data. i wish that you would like at the data that can be gathered to show you whether it is really detrimental and how has the pet supply business in san francisco been doing in the last ten years? the last 15 years and as a more and more stores have grown and how are the stores doing in general? >> i would encure j you to look at okay, if there is an impact, what is the impact? and if there is advantages that
can be demonstrated, then, as a commissioner i don't know about you, all that we ask for is how do we mitigate the damages that is a very common sense question. if first, it is hard to determine if there is an impact and if is pretty use at numbers and determine it by numbers. because that is the reasonable way of making decisions and then, if there is an impact is there any way to mitigate it? because there are benefits to helping this store on lumbard street and i urge you to hear also, the merchants and others from my support and some may oppose but this is lumbard street that we are talking about and there are many, many streets and they all have signs and some like lumbard might be like market and (inaudible) and some are smaller and like on chest nut and fillmore and... i like the diversity of the smaller stores that the streets has to offer but we are not
talking about those streets. so i would urge you to think about more balance approach to analyze what is the impact and whether this project is you know this is not a black and white issue it is up to you. thank you. >> susan ren olds and i am the owner of the marina times newspaper. we have not got a single letter from the residents who oppose of this, we have many from people who support it. and the two neighborhood organizations that last time strongly supported this, this time can't make a decision and falling apart and people are quitting and the vote for the merchants association was 20, commissioner dooley, and so does that make you happen happy,. >> 20 and it was even. >> i think that this is ridiculous, because this is not chest nut and when apple opened on chest nut the chain ordinance was passed and all of these businesses that i have
quotes from them in the times saying that we would love to have a big chain to chest nut to bring less foot traffic, why is lumbard full of prostitution and drugs and empty storefronts, why are they different, why don't they deserve foot traffic? i am a reporter and look at thinks in a balanced ways and i don't think that you are balanced you are not interested in what they have to say except for the pet stores and there are two pet stores really in that area that are freaking out that is it. and i have not heard a single person, when i am on... and i am there every day and not a one has told me that they oppose it and don't care or i would like a option. >> i have an old lady friend i don't like shopping there it is too expensive. they have a monopoly and want to keep it if you don't understand that i don't know what to say to you, it is obvious. and as far as the lease i have a two hour talk with the landlord, he insists on a ten
year lease and they had to sign t the reason that building is empty is because of them and the merchant association and the mca last time around but they don't have the support this time, i own the times and i know. this does not cost money to have animals in front of their stores, that needs to be considered and it is an under everybodied area for rescue, they are a chain, but they are very supportive of rescues and as the owner of the times i can tell you that nobody in the marina that i have talked to haves any problems where we have gotten hundreds of letters about the restaurant and the marni. a green and everyone supports that and let's have a restaurant and that is a great
idea. but, the community association support it. so i beg to differ that the community associations are speaking with the community wants, they are not. they are political and have a vested interest in keeping their monopoly. and if you want to read an article, read three or four that i have written, well searched. marina times.com and you can see the reasons of why not wanting it and why they have not been able to move on, and they are going to find a suitable tenant and who are they to decide what is a suitable tenant and they are talking about office supplies stores, they wanted a staples they just don't want a pet store, they just got a round of applause from union street and they are all for it 99 percent because it will bring foot traffic and i don't understand where the problem is here i just don't. >> thank you. >> my name is (inaudible) and i
am a paid consultant by a attorney who has done a lot of research on the lumbard corridor and well versed on the area of what it needs and doesn't need and i am going to ask you for a continuance, because this was schedule frankly, not only a continuance for the language, but a continuance to amend some of that language and we need to bring the stake holders back to the table and work with a compromise with the owners that feel that they will be impacted the language is speculative and the fact that they will be forced to close, possible close, first of all, let's talk about the corridor, you have a building that was designed for retail use, it used to house the bof a, and used as a block buser video and before that it was a safeway. next to a gas station, with a huge billboard across the street from the massage parlor that it was one of those things that they were talking about
earlier and next to a project for adverse youth surrounded by vacantcies. here is the situation, i have walked up and down that street and i have loads of feasible studies and economic study and letters from everyone in the 312, that says, hey i was across the street, i live next door, down the block, something to do with the bliet. this is not small verses big, small intermediate, and big, need to get together. we all need each other, we need synergy and no one is immune here in san francisco to competition, okay? competition is healthy. the consumers have to leave their residency to go to buy a long leash, they don't want the store credits they want their money back if they buy something that they don't want or does not work for them. this is lumbard street, the unique situation is not union
or chest nut street. there is a long list of people that want those spaces. and i just wish that they would be able to look and give the love to a corridor that has vacantcy motels corridor caters to a tourist area and i need the cars on the interstate to turn right and spend the money in the community and not just head over to the marine county and we need to sit down with the stake holders and get a con consensus, it has to be community driven, but community is not sitting at the table and all of the information that we have we could not share because we had to come down here last minute on some language that is one sided. and it is not a consensus. we need to sit down and make good prudent decisions so that we can change the corridor for the positive. thank you very much. >> next speaker please.
>> good evening, commissioners my name is annete and owner of (inaudible) and i have two locations in san francisco. and we lost our lease at a location that i operated in for over a decade. and i was forced to relocate much closer to pet food express, so now i am three blocks on market. and i work extremely hard along with the staff to keep the numbers going up but i must say, that they are not. and i spend a lot of money trying to relocate and find a good location and numbers are down. i happen to have a niche, thank god. but the numbers are down as far as dry goods and whatnot, but i am just shocked.
and that being said, as far as rescue organizations, we 100 percent support rescues from day one and i have been operating for over 15 years both locations and i welcome any rescue to come in to my store every single day. please, come. set up, shop. and the north beach store has a room down stairs she can come every single day but i am not given that opportunity to do that. i beg them to come. because it is good for business for rescues to come it is great. when people come in and say that they rescued a dog, great, 10 percent off and you got to give them a discount and we always do. so as far as not supporting rescues i think that all of us 100 percent support them all. as much as we possibly can. thank you. >> good evening, commissioners. my name is (inaudible) and i also work for jeffrey's natural
pet foods and we are small locally owned business and operate two locations in san francisco. and one in the castro and one in north beach and offer caring and specialized service and we know most of the customer and cats and dogs by name, life stranscysings and kids are coming and help them through the grief of losing their animal and offer delivery to make it easy to get the products straight to their homes. we fos tore relationships with the vendor and we do host the rescues and. and we participate in all kinds of animal related activity and we enhance and celebrate the neighborhoods that we live and work in. we are flexible and savvy and work hard. as a business we are fighting the perception of these chains with nearly 50 locations just in the bay area, they are able to offer the same products at lower prices but it is just not true, that perception alone is one of the biggest threats to
our survival. it has provided me with the unique opportunity to make a life in san francisco in the retail world this is a passing possibility that is less accessible to the people in our city and we try to make this happen for everyone who works for us. allowing formula retail pet supply chains to open more and, more of the same locations in san francisco and threatens our existence as a business, and my livelihood and my family's future, and contrary to what was suggested before the multiple stores in one of the locations that is quite near the pet food express has closed including one on 18th and one on 22nd. and so, very close to that market street pet food express, on a city wide scale it changes the character of the neighborhoods and it encourages more driving and less walk and less interaction and we see other small pet supply shops close and more of the formula, and that is not what we want to the unique neighborhood and not for the unique city, we ask you
tonight to consider our position. and i do want to bring, i wanted to bring up one more thing and in regards to the marina times, pet food pays for multiple pages of advertising in that newspaper. >> that would be fine >> that would be fine n... >> excuse me. >> this is not... >>... (inaudible). >> no. that is all that i have so share, tonight. >> thank you. >> john moore, general legal council for pet food express, i want to say two things that have not been said. we do not understand how on this agenda item got morped into a decision to recommend or
not on a particular project that is not even yet before the planning commission with no notice to the pet food express or anybody else in the community that this commission might actually make such a recommendation, we hear that there is a permitting subcommittee hearing and nobody invited us or talked to us and one of the problems with that is commissioner dwight at the beginning you expressed your opinion about this project hearing from two people who opposed the project and that was it, i don't think that is a fair hearing, i think that is a reason for this request. when i was here on the third street debate there was a comment about the formula retail and the reason that is serves the neighborhood is by allowing some kind of interactive process, to weigh in on the store hours and what have you, that is great and fine. not one person has come forward and said to the pet food express that we have a problem with your hours or a problem with your product or something like that. it is two pet stores saying
that we don't want them at all. we know that it is an interactive process and so what did we do, knowing that there is an impact. we said that let's sit down and talk about it, let's see what we can do mitigate the problems. do you know what the response was? >> no, we will not meet with you, i don't think that is an interactive process and i don't think that is what formula retail is about, and i don't think that you ought to make a recommendation and i think that you should defer the decision, thank you. >> thank you. >> any other public comment? >> seeing none, public comment is closed. >> commissioners? >> dooley? >> i think that really what we are looking at today sort of a little more narrow than all of these things that we have heard. we are really looking at the criteria for formula retail. and another was the